CELESTE BARBER Willy Sanjuan Invision AP

Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Celeste Barber

Actress and Fundraiser, Australia

Celeste Barber is a woman of many talents — acting, comedy, and writing. But it was her fundraising efforts during Australia’s devastating bushfire season at the turn of the year that catapulted her into a global news story.

Barber’s fundraising began with a modest aim of raising just over $10,000 for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. Eventually, the Facebook fundraiser would take in over $37 million, the largest sum ever raised through the social-media platform. It was also a campaign that resonated well outside of Australia — according to Facebook, over 1.2 million people from 75 countries donated.

Unfortunately, the unexpectedly large amount raised has led to legal issues on how the money can be distributed, with the courts still working toward a solution. But this in no way diminishes Barber’s incredible achievement.

Fundraising aside, Barber has appeared in several Australian TV shows, is a comedy-festival regular, and has written two books.